Combs & Research - Proud Patron of USGenNet  Combs &c. Families
 of Letcher Co., KY 1860-1869

Please Email Additions and/or Corrections to Webmaster

Letcher Co., KY was established in 1842 from Harlan & Perry Counties. Letcher County is on the Virginia State Line. Adjacent KY counties are Floyd, Harlan, Perry, and Pike. In 1884, Knottwas est. from Breathitt, Floyd, Letcher and Perry in 1884.

Index to Letcher Co., KY Combs Records

1860 Letcher Co., Ky Census (partial extraction/transcription by Combs Researcher Sue Elfving unless otherwise noted)

HH 7 (Extracted by Brian K. Caudill & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Wesley COMBS 46 farmer
Mary 37
John 19
Shadrick 16
James 14
Lucinda 13
Wesely 11
Dicy 8
Henry 4
Martha 1
Mary 1

Note: John Wesley COMBS was married to Mary HOGG per Silas COMBS 1922 Knott Co., KY Death Certificate. (See 1870 listing below)

HH 51 (Extracted by Louise Perkins & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Elihue COMBS 27 laborer KY
Sarah 25 KY
Wra [sic] 6 KY
Elizabeth 4 KY
Louisa 1 KY

Note: Elihue COMBS parents are unknown at this time. He was married to Sarah WILLIAMS. (See Birth Record above)

HH 60 (Extracted by Louise Perkins & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Russell COMBS 31 farm laborer KY
Dicy 23 KY
Henry 7 KY
Edward 5 KY
Levinia 3 KY
William 1 KY

Note: Russell COMBS parents are unknown at this time. He was married to Dicy POLLY. (See Birth Record above)

HH 333 (Extracted by Brian K. Caudill & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Edward COMBS 35 farm laborer
Martha 25
William 10
Minerva 8
Dicy 2
Bouy 7/12

HH 494 (Extracted by Brian K. Caudill & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Shadric COMBS 48 farm laborer
Sarah 39
George 18 farmer
William B. 15 farmer
Mary 14 idiot
Lidy 11
Elizabeth 9
Margaret 7
Dianer 6
Granville 4
Nancy A. 2
Shadrick 6/12

#541 Matilda Combs….….51 (all KY)
Enoch Combs….……21
Malinda Combs…….18
Melvina Combs…….12
George Combs..…….10

SE Note: Matilda WATTS, widow of Mason Combs (reputed son of John Combs (III)), is also listed in the 1860 Perry Co., KY census. In 1850, she and Mason an be found in Breathitt Co., KY. In Letcher, she is living 5 houses from her brother Enoch WATTS (hh#536) and next door to Mason's reputed sister Milly Combs Smith and her husband William (see next). Next to Milly and William are son Jeremiah "Jake" SMITH and his wife Elizabeth STACY (hh#543) who became Enoch Combs' sister-in-law. Perhaps this proximity allowed Enoch and Nancy STACY to become acquainted. Her son Enoch Combs was a Pvt in the Civil War in the unit 14th Reg't KY, Cav Co. C,L.

#542 Wm SMITH, age 67, b. Tenn
Milly SMITH age 65, b. VA
Thomas SMITH 23
Jackson Combs 26
Mary Combs 27
James Combs 3
(Combs Researcher Sue Elfving)

SE Note: William SMITH, son of Richard & Elitia Combs Smith, and Millie Combs, reputed daughter of John Combs (III) and sister of Mason Combs (husband of the above Matilda WATTS. I do not know the identity of the Jackson Combs above, but note that a Jackson Combs, age 25, is in the Perry Co., KY census household of Matilda WATTS Combs (above).

HH 543 (Extracted by Louise Perkins & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
Jeremiah SMITH 27 farmer KY
Elizabeth 25 IN
Shadric 3 KY
William 1 KY
Clinton COMBS 27 farmer KY

Note: Jeremiah was the son of William and Millie COMBS Smith. His wife Elizabeth was the daughter of Shadrick "One Eyed" STACY and Sarah COMBS. The identity of Clinton COMBS is not known at this time.

HH 544 (Extracted by Brian K. Caudill & provided to Combs Researcher Debi Houser)
William SMITH 43 farmer
Martha 27
Marian 9 f
John 7
Hilard 5 m
Barbry 3
Milley 1/12
Granville COMBS 16 farm laborer

Note: William SMITH was the son of William SMITH and Millie COMBS. His wife, Martha, is reputedly an ASHLEY. Granville COMBS was Mason and Matilda WATTS Combs son per Mason's COMBS Bible record.
4 March 1860 (LC-DBC-D:133-4). Indenture between William SMITH of Letcher County and Jeremiah SMITH of the same...sells all that part of his lands on Carr fork from a conditional line made between Jeremiah SMITH and Thomas SMITH up Carrs fork being the upper end of said land to the top of the mountain each side being a part of 4 surveys. William x SMITH, Millie x SMITH. Acknowledged by all parties 4 March 1860 and recorded. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).

NOTES: William SMITH (s/o of Elder Richard SMITH and Elitia Combs) and wife Millie Combs SMITH.
4 March 1860 (LC-DBC-D:264-5). Indenture between William SMITH and Jeremiah SMITH of Letcher County and Thomas SMITH of the same...all that part of the land claimed by us in Letcher Co on Carrs Fork, the place now where Wm Smith lives that is from a conditional line made and known between the parties of Thomas Smith and Jeremiah Smith...part of 4 surveys. William x Smith, Jeremiah x Smith, Milly x Smith. Acknowledged by all on 4 March 1860. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).
9 March 1861 (LC-DBC-D:265). Indenture: William SMITH Sr. to William SMITH Jr., both of Letcher County for $100...3 acres more or less on Red Oak branch of Carrs Fork...William x SMITH Sr. Acknowledged by grantor 9 March 1861. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).
9 March 1861 (LC-DBC-D:266). Indenture between Nancy SMITH of the first part and William SMITH of the other part...both of Letcher Co...for $50 sells to William SMITH Jr...100 acres of land in Letcher Co on the Big Branch...beginning at a fork of Lick Branch to include all lands on Patrick Branch...Nancy x SMITH. Acknowledged by grantor and recorded 7 March 1861. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).

SE NOTES: This Nancy is the granddaughter of William SMITH Sr. and she is selling the land he gifted to her in 1851 (see 14 March 1852 deed) back to her uncle William Smith Jr. Obviously, she has not yet married.
07 Jan 1862 (KLG, p.1120): Grantee: Combs, Elihue E; Acres: 35; Book: 63, Page: 189; Date Survey: 1- 7-1862; County: Letcher; Watercourse: l h Fk Cally
25 June 1862 (LC-DBC-D:393-4). Indenture Edward Combs to James STALLARD, both of Letcher County...for $6 in hand in Letcher County on Colly Creek a branch of the North fk of the Ky River...conditional line between said Combs and David SERGENT. Edward Combs. Proved by the oath of James Crace. Recorded 25 June 1868. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).
19 Aug 1863 "August the 19th Day 1863 George Combs bit by the nats... " (Extracted by Combs Researcher Debi Houser from an article by Holly Fee titled "Defeated Creek Diaries," which appeared in Harlan Footprints, Vol III, Issue 3, Sep 1987. Defeated Creek is in present-day Letcher Co., KY.)
23 Mar 1864 "Granville Combs born 2 Dec 1843 died 5 March 1940 married 23 March 1864 Letcher Co., KY Margaret AMBURGEY" ( Family Bible of Granville Combs; provided by Combs Researcher Huba Hodges Price) Granville's parents were Mason and Matilda (WATTS) Combs."
4 Aug 1866 (LC-DBE:235). Indenture between Isaac WILLIAMS of one part and Elihu E Combs of the other part, both of Letcher County...for $65 sells 5 acres...conditional line between E. E. Combs and Edward Combs at the mouth of the branch where Elihu E Combs now lives...signed Isaac x Williams, Sarah x Williams. Rec: 16 Feb. 1872. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).
15 Sept 1868 (LC-DBC-D:416). Indenture between Jeremiah SMITH of Letcher County and Shadrach SMITH and William SMITH Nancy SMITH Sally SMITH Benjamin SMITH of Letcher County...sold all the land now belonging to me in the county of Letcher for the goodwell and affection I have for them...Jeremiah SMITH. Attest: E BRASHEARS. Acknowledged by grantor 1 Jan. 1869. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).
15 Sept 1868 (LC-DBC-D:417). Indenture between William SMITH Jr of Letcher County and John SMITH, Marion [sp?] SMITH, Hilliard SMITH, Barbara SMITH, Milly SMITH, Lourainy SMITH, Nancy SMITH, and Granville SMITH all of Letcher County...all my land in Letcher County together with all the property both personal and real mixed for the consideration of the goodwill and affection that I have for the aforesaid. William SMITH. Acknowledged 1 Jan. 1869 and recorded. (Source: abs. by SE from original image on FHC microfilm).

SE NOTES: This would be William SMITH Jr., s/o of William SMITH Sr and Millie Combs. He was conveying land to his children while they were still minors as did his brother Jeremiah SMITH in the preceding deed.
20 Nov 1869 Clinton COMBS to J. B. FITZPATRICK. Bond. (partially transcribed by Sue Elfving from LCKY DB-C/D:497-9 on FHC Microfilm #0808196:) "Know all men by these presents that James B. FITZPATRICK stands as Surety and Bond said to be 500.00 for my appearance at Louisville Ky. before the United States District Court for the District of Ky to answer a charge in said court for Illicit Stilling set to be tried at the Oct. Term 1869 of the U.S. Court for the District of Ky. Now in order to secure the said James B. Fitzpatrick against any liabilities on said Bond to him by Mortgage & convey to his and his heirs a certain tract of land lying at or near the mouth of Carrs fork of the Ky. River in Perry County being the [c/r] for or which I now live and containing by estimation 200 acres it being expressly understood..." Dated 20th day of Nov. 1869. Signed Clinton X COMBS.Attest: I. D. Stamper Stephen Stamper Proved by the oaths of both subscribing witnesses and admitted to record 21st March 1870. Solomon Yontz Clk. and ordered to be certified to the Clerk of Perry Co.

Note: Clinton Combs aka Old Grizzler was the son of Mason "8" Combs and Jane Richardson.
Dec 1869 Death: Combs Shadrick (Fam #164), 80, m, white, wd, b. Ky, Farmer, cause: Smallpox) (Source: Original images from US 1870 Mortality Census: Record of individuals who died with the year ending June 1, 1870,, trans. by SE)

SE NOTES: A careful and magnified review of this original image indicates this Shadrick was age 80 and widowed which would make him Old Shadrack Combs Sr., father of Wesley Combs (next entry). According to the mortality census, they lived in the same household (Family #164) and both died of smallpox. Old Shadrick is not found on the 1860 census; however, there is a flurry of deeds relative to some of the land he once owned and later sold that were recorded in 1870.

Courtesy of JB Francis, the following is from A Combs Family (1992) by Mae Frazier: "Wesley and a son, Andrew died of smallpox in 1869. This was a serious disease and there was no immunization available at that time. Solomon Banks, a neighbor who had recovered from the disease buried the dead. The family and friends could not attend the funeral because of the seriousness of the contagion. However, some family members stood at a distance while the bodies were being interred. Polly's son Silas lived with her until he married. After the death of her husband, Sallie and her three children lived with Polly until she died. Polly had a very large Wen on one side of her neck. One day, while everyone was away a " Quack Doctor" came to her home and talked her into letting him remove the Wen for twenty-five dollars. She bled to death that night. Family members tried desperately to find the man but they never found or heard of him again...The author remembers the three graves in her Uncle Jim Comb's garden. They had white slatted covers over them, however the covers in time disappeared and only the tombstones for Wesley and Polly were left. The graves are presently seen directly in front of the Outdoor Drama Theater. Judge Stephen Combs, a grandson enclosed the graves with an aluminum wire fence and new markers were bought for Wesley and Polly by the Combs-Frazier Reunion Fund in 1980." Mary Polly Hogg died 28 Jan 1892. Mae Frazier also wrote that the location of Shadrack Sr.'s grave is unknown, but this is what she says about Wesley's home: "John Wesley and Polly built a large log house at the mouth of the Solomon Adams Branch on Smoot Creek where they reared their family. A grandson, James Combs (son of Wesley and Polly), heired this home from his father. He built rooms on to the log house and had a beautiful home. After his death heirs sold the home to the Regular Baptist Church group and it became a Baptist Orphanage for several years. Problems of financing and obtaining qualified personnel to manage the orphanage forced the church group to sell the home. Presently there is an apartment building, General Mining Supply Co., Action Auto Parts and the Outdoor Drama Theatre on the site of the home and surrounding area." "The graves are presently seen directly in front of the Outdoor Drama Theater."

(Notes Continued) Although Mae writes that both Wesley and his son Andrew died of smallpox in 1869; however, Letcher Co., Ky. death records show that son Andrew, age 2 years, died from croup on 15 March 1857. Andrew is shown in the book as having been born 30 May 1854. The Letcher Co. birth records list one male child born 30 May 1854 but the given name is so ink stained that it is impossible to decipher. Census records from 1860 through 1880 show that Wesley and Mary had a son named Henry, consistently born 1854. If Andrew was 2 in March of 1857 when he died, could he also have been born in 1854 and therefore a twin brother to Henry? There was another set of twins in Wesley's family, and there could have been entries following that of the smudged one that were entirely obliterated. That page 2 of the births had fewer entries in number than the preceding page. In any event, the family tradition may have become somewhat altered over the years. The event of a father and son dying together from smallpox, the knowledge that Andrew, a son of Wesley, also died young, and the presence of 3 graves together on the old farm, may have resulted in a conclusion that it was Wesley and Andrew who died of smallpox instead of Shadrack Sr. and his son Wesley who died of smallpox as now documented in records. If Shadrack Sr. was living with Wesley as the mortality census record indicates, then it would make sense he was buried along with his son since the family story speaks of "bodies" being buried.
Dec 1869 Death: Combs Wesley (Fam #164), 51, m, white, md, b. Ky, Farmer, cause: Smallpox (Source: Original images from US Mortality Census,, trans. by SE)

NOTES: Wesley Combs, s/o of Shadrach Combs Sr. See above notes for death of Shadrack for more information about the death and burial.
Continue on to Combs &c. Letcher Co., KY Records 1870-